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11-Year-Old Banned from Class Trip for Eating Chocolate

Posted by on Jul. 20, 2013 at 12:20 PM
  • 6 Replies


11-Year-Old Banned from Class Trip for Eating Chocolate

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An 11-year-old girl in England was sent home from a weeklong school trip because she ate a chocolate bar. Her school’s headmistress found out about the confectionary crime only by snooping on a private letter that Holli McCann had written to her mother.

Holli’s mother Kerri McCann had to borrow money in order to make the 160-mile trip to the Isle of White to pick up her daughter. McCann, who is unemployed and must care for her autistic son, said she has no idea why the school feels chocolate is unsafe.

Teachers ransacked Holli’s room and went through her things. They even removed the lining of her suitcase.

"Holli said she was really upset because they emptied her toiletry bag into the sink and pulled out the lining in her suitcase,” McCann said. "It was carried out in such a manner you would have thought they were running an international drug smuggling operation from their hotel room.”

When the chocolate was discovered, Yvonne Graves, the headmistress at Bromet Primary School in Watford, Herts, contacted McCann and told her to pick up her daughter immediately. When she asked Graves to reconsider, she refused.

McCann told The Telegraph that her daughter was excited about the July 1 trip. She was going to share a room with her best friends.

"They had been planning the feast weeks before the trip and Holli was in charge of bringing the chocolate,” she said.

"It wasn't even at midnight. They ate the chocolate at about 9:30 p.m., and it only went on for about 15 minutes. It's not like they were having a party or making noise,” she explained. "The teachers had no idea about it until they read Holli's letter to me.”

She couldn’t understand why her daughter’s private letter was being read by teachers in the first place.

"I am furious that they read her letter, it is like being in prison. It's not like she is five - she is 11 and deserves privacy in what she writes to her mum.”

McCann made a formal complaint with the Bromet School’s governors.

"I don't see how eating chocolate makes the holiday unsafe. They were not being naughty - they were just having fun," she said.

Hertfordshire County Council said that chocolate is against the school’s behavior charter, which designates how children are to behave on the trip. "It was made clear that breaking any of the rules within the charter would result in parents being asked to take their child home, as was the case with this pupil,” the council said.

Sources: MSN Now, The Telegraph

by on Jul. 20, 2013 at 12:20 PM
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Replies (1-6):
stormcris
by Christy on Jul. 20, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Ridiculous

Momniscient
by Ruby Member on Jul. 20, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Well she did break the rules.

I think the way forward is to figure out why the rule is so stringent am fix the problem there.
WesternNYmom
by Silver Member on Jul. 20, 2013 at 1:01 PM
1 mom liked this

Ridiculous.  The girl ate a candy bar. Yes she broke a rule, but the teachers didn't need to treat her like she was a criminal. If I found out that they ransacked my kid's room and searched her like she committed a crime, just because she consumed candy, i would be furious. I also think it was ridiculous that they made the girl's mother drive 160 mile to pick her daughter up. All they had to do was confiscate the leftover candy and give her a warning.

Mrs.Kubalabuku
by on Jul. 20, 2013 at 1:05 PM
1 mom liked this

Rules are rules.  IF she wanted chocolate on the trip, she should have tried to reason with officials before.

I do, however, think they went WAY too far in the way they searched her stuff.  If they were already sending her home, why did they need to check her bags so thoroughly?  It's one thing to enforce the rules and send the child home, it's another to subject her to such an intense, criminal-like search and seizure!

And why were they reading her mail?  That was inappropriate, too.

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jul. 20, 2013 at 1:35 PM
Quoting IhartU:

Hertfordshire County Council said that chocolate is against the school’s behavior charter, which designates how children are to behave on the trip. "It was made clear that breaking any of the rules within the charter would result in parents being asked to take their child home, as was the case with this pupil,” the council said.

Zero tolerance is zero tolerance.   You may not agree that zero tolerance is a good policy, but if you know in advance that that is the policy, you can't whine when it bites you.


Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jul. 20, 2013 at 1:40 PM
Quoting IhartU:

She couldn’t understand why her daughter’s private letter was being read by teachers in the first place.

"I am furious that they read her letter, it is like being in prison. It's not like she is five - she is 11 and deserves privacy in what she writes to her mum.”

McCann made a formal complaint with the Bromet School’s governors.

There should, on the other hand, also have been notification of what powers the teachers were going to take on in their struggle to detect breaches of the rules.

I suspect the legal position of schools being in loco parentis does give them the legal right to read letters.  They merely would usually refrain from doing so out of politeness - respect for the parents.  Pretty much the only invasion of privacy a school couldn't get away with is doing a strip search or body cavity search.

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